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Young Professionals Are Not Joining Associations, But Not for the Reasons We Think

Did you know that hair is a good metric for organizational health? Recently, I was on the phone with a seasoned professional and long-time engaged association member, who said, “I walked into the conference’s general session room and looked out over the seated crowd of about 3,000. Do you know what struck me? All the gray hair.” I hear some variation of this worry all the time from members and association professionals alike. You see, I am a qualitative member researcher, and I study why members engage and why they don’t, and I have found that hair is a big issue for many professional and trade associations.